Identifying Nuclear Membrane Proteins that Facilitate Chromosomal Mechanotransduction, The Effect of Ethical Restriction on Stem Cell Research and Innovation Since 1998

Author: ORCID icon
Horenberg, Allison, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Barker, Tom, EN-Biomed Engr Dept, University of Virginia

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is an end-stage lung disease that is mediated by force interactions within the lung epithelium. The current standard of care aims to reduce the symptoms of the disease through non-curative drug treatments or by lung transplantation. Our team aims to determine an additional upstream target that would reduce the progression of fibrosis. We hypothesize that LRP-130, CAPZ-α, and MATR3 play a role in force mechanotransduction and ultimately IPF. To determine the proteins involved in the mechanosensitive signaling pathway, a magnetic precipitation technique is used to pull down the proteins involved. These proteins are then analyzed through proteomics techniques such as western blotting and immunofluorescence. A knockdown study was performed to determine the individual role the proteins play in YAP/TAZ nuclear translocation. LRP-130, CAPZ-α, and MATR3 have been established as potential proteins in the pathway and have been identified in samples subject to force. The localization of these proteins has been linked to the nuclear membrane. Additional knockdown studies will be performed to determine the extent to the protein’s effect on YAP/TAZ nuclear translocation. Overall, we have observed that these proteins play a role in regulating the cellular response to force mechanotransduction. This work is significant to the future of IPF treatments as these proteins serve as potential targets for curative therapies.

Stem cells are a controversial, yet promising therapy to regenerate tissue and normal cellular function after injury. While stem cells offer a plethora of research and therapeutic possibilities, they have also generated a mass ethical rejection, leading to legislation that restricted their use. This paper explores the extent to which public and political discourse affected the development of novel stem cell technologies. Overall, this paper seeks to answer the research question “how has ethical rejection of stem cell research affected the progress of the field from 1998 to present day?” To conduct this research, historical and political case studies serve as a basis to understand how the progress of research was affected. In addition, the science, technology, and society frameworks of technological momentum and political technologies shape the understanding of eras of research as having a more constructivist or deterministic viewpoint, as well as determine the political nature of the technology as a whole. This research will specifically determine if certain stem cell technologies arose from periods of restriction, overcoming the barriers of political legislation to continue to strive for the development of life changing therapies. By utilizing stem cells as a case study to understand the motivation behind novel research findings, these conclusions can be applied to other research areas to analyze technological progress and look toward the future growth for these technologies.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Political Technologies, Technological Momentum, Mechanotransduction, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
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